PHILADELPHIA - The coaches of the Big 5 Baseball group announced the year-end awards on Tuesday, and Penn had four players recognized for their performances on and off the field in 2011. Seniors Paul Cusick and Will Davis were joined by sophomore Spencer Branigan on the All-Big 5 team while junior Chris McNulty was named Academic All-Big 5.
Cusick, the Ivy League's Pitcher of the Year and a first-team All-Ivy selection, was named Big 5 Pitcher of the Week five times during the season (Apr. 5, Apr. 12 and Apr. 26). The big righty set a career high with five wins and paced the Quakers with a 2.70 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 66.2 innings of work. His 200 career K's rank fourth all-time at Penn. His best work of the year came from Apr. 2-15 where he tossed 17.2 consecutive innings of scoreless ball.
Cusick's batterymate, Will Davis was named All-Big 5 for the first time in his career after posting a career high average of .304 in his senior season. A first-team All-Ivy selection, Davis was a constant behind the plate, starting 39 of Penn's 40 games behind the dish. The Big 5's Player of the Week on March 30, Davis finished 2011 with 42 hits, 31 runs, 27 RBI and six home runs. His 25 career home runs are second-most by a Penn player and his 138 games played are ninth by a Quaker.
Branigan improved his batting average by 42 points in his sophomore season, earning first-team All-Ivy honors while patrolling first base for the Quakers. His seven home runs in 2011 tied for the team lead and his .382 average in Ivy League games was tied for second in the Ancient Eight. He was named Ivy League Player of the Week on May 2 after belting a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to give Penn a 6-5 win over Columbia.
McNulty, who was named All-Big 5 for his work on the mound in 2010 had his work in the classroom honored this year as one of five players named Academic All-Big 5. A junior who is majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, McNulty finished 2011 with 12 appearances and nine starts. He struck out 26 batters while consistently going 7+ innings in Penn's nine-inning games to complete Ivy doubleheaders.